Credit cards represent the best and worst in life. On the one hand, pulling them out of your wallet and sliding them at the store register means you get your hands on what you wanted to buy. On the other hand, you get to curse and swear at the bill that shows up in your mailbox a few weeks later. Read on the find out how to maximize the good while minimizing the bad.
Look into whether a balance transfer will benefit you. Yes, balance transfers can be very tempting. The rates and deferred interest often offered by credit card companies are typically substantial. But if it is a large sum of money you are considering transferring, then the high interest rate normally tacked onto the back end of the transfer may mean that you actually pay more over time than if you had kept your balance where it was. Do the math before jumping in.
Remember that the use of a credit card is not a right, but a privilege. Your good credit is enhanced by responsible credit card use and is hurt when you use it unwisely. The responsible credit card user pays their payments on time every month and keeps track of all charges.
If your credit card company offers to raise your spending allowance, think carefully before you accept. A higher spending allowance on your cards raises your possible debt to income ratio, and that can harm your credit score. If you do not need the higher spending allowance, ask your creditor to keep your balance where it is, instead.
There are many different kinds of credit cards that each come with their own pros and cons. Before you settle on a bank or specific credit card to use, be sure to understand all of the fine print and hidden fees related to the different credit cards you have available to you.
Are you making online purchases? If so, search for companies that use a third-party payment provider, like World Pay or Pay Pal. Also, always make sure that when you are completing a payment, the address bar reads https://, rather than http://. This lets you know that the data is encrypted and your information is secure.
It is a good rule of thumb to have two major credit cards, long-standing, and with low balances reflected on your credit report. You do not want to have a wallet full of credit cards, no matter how good you may be keeping track of everything. While you may be handling yourself well, too many credit cards equals a lower credit score.
Now you know that you don't have to be fearful of credit cards. Now that you have a greater understand about how credit cards work, don't stay away from them for fear of damaging your credit score. Take the advice you have learned here, and use credit cards as they were intended - to improve your financial situation.
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